Wasatch Cache National Forest

In partnership with: The Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center, Utah Department of Public Safety Division of Comprehensive Emergency Management,

Salt Lake County, and Utah State Parks:


To have this advisory automatically e-mailed to you each day free of charge, visit: http://www.mailermailer.com/x?oid=16351h †††††††††

For photos of avalanches and avalanche phenomenon, visit:http://www.avalanche.org/%7Euac/photos_03-04.htm†††† (Updated 2/27)

Photos sent in by observers throughout the season visit:http://www.avalanche.org/~uac/obphotos/observer.html†††† (Updated 2/24)

For a list of backcountry avalanche activity, visit:http://www.avalanche.org/%7Euac/Avalanche_List.htm†††† (Updated 2/27)


Avalanche advisory

Friday, February 27, 2004,†† 7:30 am


Good morning, this is Bruce Tremper with the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center with your backcountry avalanche and mountain weather advisory.Today is Friday, February 27, 2004, and itís 7:30 a.m.This forecast is brought to you in partnership with the Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center, supported in part by Black Diamond Equipment.


Avalanche Conditions:

Wow, what a storm.We got walloped yesterday with 1-2 feet of dense snow and howling winds from the south, making for a very wild avalanche day.In a tragic accident, a 34-year old snowshoer from Houston Texas was killed yesterday around 6 pm in Daily Canyon, which is a very steep backcountry area between the Deer Valley and Park City resorts.We donít have many details on this slide but it sounds like he was buried about 6 feet deep.Yesterday, the dense new snow combined with the extremely strong winds created widespread areas of sensitive wind slabs on nearly all steep slopes with recent wind drifts.Several other skiers triggered avalanches and a couple of them were caught but are OK.Most of these avalanches broke 1-2 feet deep and up to 200 feet wide.Most involved just the new, wind drifted snow but several broke into deeper weak layers.I have photos on the web if youíre interested.Two feet of snow with around 2 inches of water weight fell in the Ogden area mountains, the Park City and Deer Valley area mountains and in upper Big Cottonwood Canyon.A foot and a half fell in Little Cottonwood and about a foot of new snow fell elsewhere.This is the largest storm weíve had in several months, as far as weight added to the snowpack, so remember that unusual weather makes unusual avalanches.Overnight, however, no snow fell and winds were calm, which probably gave the wind slabs time to become less sensitive than they were yesterday afternoon.


Today, people without good avalanche skills should probably avoid the backcountry again today and if you do get out, you should definitely avoid any slopes with wind deposits and stay out from under steep slopes.You can usually recognize wind slabs by their smooth, rounded shape and their slabby feel and hollow sound.Also, in shallower snowpack areas, we expect that some avalanches will break into deeper weak layers, creating larger and more dangerous avalanches.You will find these thinner snowpack areas outside of the traditionally snowy areas like the Cottonwood Canyons and especially in the Uinta Mountains.If you want safer terrain today you should stay on slopes less than about 30 degrees without wind deposits and out from underneath steeper slopes.


Bottom Line for the Wasatch Range, including the Salt Lake, Park City, PROVO and Ogden AREA MOUNTAINS:

The avalanche danger has dropped to CONSIDERABLE this morning but may rise to HIGH again later in the day as more snow accumulates.Considerable means human triggered slides are probable and natural avalanches possible, and high means that both natural and human triggered avalanches are likely.The danger is MODERATE on non wind drifted slopes, and LOW on wind sheltered slopes less steep than about 30 degrees without any steeper slopes hanging above them.


Uinta Mountains:For Uinta specific information, click on Western Uintas on the advisory page or phone 1-800-648-7433.

Logan: click HERE or call 435-797-4146


Mountain Weather:

We should get the second wave of the storm starting around mid day but this time with much less wind.3-6 inches of snow are expected this afternoon with another 4-8 inches tonight.Ridge top winds will blow from the south at 10-20 mph with ridge top temperatures in the mid teens.At 8,000í the daytime high today should be near 22 with the overnight low near 15.The center of the low pressure system should pass just to the south of us and it will turn our ridge top winds easterly by tomorrow and then north and northwesterly by later on Saturday.The extended forecast calls for a short break on about Sunday and Monday, we should get another storm on Tuesday.


For specific digital forecasts for the Salt Lake, Provo or Ogden mountains, CLICK HERE.


General Information:

The Wasatch Powderbird Guides will probably not be flying today because of weather.If they do get out, they will be in Cardiff, Mineral, Days, Silver, Grizzly, American Fork and White Pine.


If you are getting into the backcountry, please give us a call and let us know what youíre seeing, especially if you trigger an avalanche.You can leave a message at 524-5304 or 1-800-662-4140.Or you can e-mail an observation to [email protected] .org, or you can fax an observation to 801-524-6301.


The information in this advisory is from the U.S. Forest Service, which is solely responsible for its content.This advisory describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur.


I will update this advisory Saturday morning.

Thanks for calling.